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Emre still not ready for Rovers


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Rovers return doubt for Emre


By Luke Edwards, The Journal


Graeme Souness has already conceded defeat in his attempts to restore pivotal midfielder Emre to his starting line-up against Blackburn Rovers at the weekend.


The Turkish international has been back in training for almost a fortnight, but the former Inter Milan star has little hope of starting on Saturday as he eases his way back into action following the second serious hamstring injury of his first season on Tyneside.


Emre, who has started just seven league games for United, has not played since the dreadful Carling Cup defeat to Wigan on November 30 and, while Souness would love to be able to call on him when Newcastle take on his former employers, the Scot is already preparing himself for the worst.


"He has got an outside chance of playing, he might be on the bench, but that's as good as it gets at the moment," said Souness, who is also anxiously awaiting the results of a scan on Stephen Carr's stomach injury. "We've been saying that for a while and I don't want to build anyone's hopes up, let alone mine. We'd love to have him back.


"We felt he might have a chance against Fulham last weekend, but we decided to leave it another week because he wasn't ready. It's touch and go this week as well. We'll leave it until the last possible moment, but there is no way he is going to be able to start the game."



Souness is rapidly approaching the end of his tether regarding the disastrous injury situation at St James's Park and the United board must surely realise that re-enforcements are needed unless they are willing to let the campaign drift, at best into mid-table mediocrity, at worst towards a dangerous flirtation with relegation. Reports yesterday claimed the board had dismissed the opportunity to sign French international striker Nicolas Anelka, even if it were only on loan until the end of the season, with the option of a permanent contract in the summer.



Yet, with goals a major problem for United because of Michael Owen's broken foot and Shola Ameobi's niggling hip problem, most fans would surely accept that a gamble on Anelka would be worth it.



The 26-year-old does not come with a glowing character reference, but he is a world-class goalscorer, has the pace to perfectly compliment Shearer and, if, as he declared last week, he wants a long-term deal at St James's Park, he has something to prove between now and the end of the season. There is also the small matter of playing well enough to ensure he is part of the French World Cup squad in June.



The major stumbling block would appear to be Fenerbahce's desire for a sizeable transfer fee, but the club will also realise there is little point in wasting a big wage packet on a player who does not want to be there, which could work in the Magpies' favour.



However, like the proposed swap deal involving Charlton's Danny Murphy and Newcastle's Lee Bowyer, the Anelka deal appears to have stalled, which will be of further cause for concern for Souness.



Newcastle's manager has argued his case with chairman Freddie Shepherd, but has conceded that it is ultimately up to the board whether they back him financially, having already spent £50m since he took over from Sir Bobby Robson 16 months ago.

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Why would anybody, short of a straw chewing yokel who's never seen the Toon play, think Newcastle's lack of goals is a consequence of ameobi's niggling hip injury?


TBH, the fact that ameobi is injured and could possibly miss the rest of the season is the only bright spot in the last few weeks IMO.

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I prefer the term "lover" tbh.  :mellow:



Well, I didn't want to be rude, but I've long suspected Souness sent his wife onto these boards well in advance of his appointment and even sent her to booze with some of these Toon fans in a ginger fat suit! :lol:

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